Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Hi, I’m interested if anyone here has had any experience with osteosarcoma as a secondary condition. In my dog’s case, it seems to have stemmed from medullary infarcts aka bone necrosis. This alone can be a normal boney change in senior dogs or as a result of trauma or nutritional deficiency at an earlier stage of life, but often do not cause any issue. I have done a lot of research online but have only found cases from 1970/80’s in scientific literature unless it is human osteosarcoma.
The unusual presentation in my dog meant that diagnosis was significantly delayed. I first saw intermittent lameness in January which didn’t progress in the usual manner of bone neoplasia. He was not painful to palpation but was non-weight bearing and would really hike his hip up. His pain increased significantly in March and he had a CT, (original radiographs showed bony change but atypical of osteosarc or other neoplasias). The CT showed cortex involvement and a bone biopsy was taken. The histo showed sarcoma, likely osteosarcoma but inconclusive. We amputated his leg almost 4 weeks ago. He has done well post-amputation bar a small infection. He started chemo (carboplatin) yesterday. I should add that we have not had the full results of his leg histopathology yet, so started chemo on the probability of osteosarcoma. A switch to Doxyrubicin may be in order if another sarcoma is confirmed. However, being a small 8kg Patterdale x Lakeland terrier he is (was) low on the risk scale for osteosarcoma. His Left hind tibia (proximal to mid shaft) was affected. No mets on CT. All lab work normal (we did a lot!) until proteinuria detected on dipstick prior to chemo this week.
I’m really just after anyone’s experience with unusual presenting bone neoplasia. I’m in the UK and a veterinary nurse so initial radiographs passed through imaging and oncology specialists and a few referral practices and all said not suggestive of neoplasia until symptoms intensified and CT was performed. I’m hoping strange presentation bodes for a favourable prognosis but alas no one can predict, even less so with no case studies for comparison.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences.
Hi and welcome, thanks for joining us. Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.
We love vet nurses! Thank you for all you do. Your dog is so lucky to have you looking out for him. What is his name?
Well, I searched our Forums all sorts of ways to look for someone with osteosarcoma as a secondary condition to bone infarcts but I came up with nothing. I’m not well versed in the bone infarcts condition but is it a type of microscopic bone fracture clusters? I ask because our Fairy Vet Mother Dr. Pam once saidin a chat: “Bone cancers are probably secondary to microscopic bone traumas which is why large breeds get this cancer more often. “
Without the pathology report back, you can make yourself crazy guessing what’s going on. I hope you get it back soon!
As for breed types and osteosarcoma..unfortunately we’ve seen all sorts of breeds get this awful disease, even chihuahuas.
We look forward to learning more about you and your dog. Thanks for joining us and sharing your knowledge.
Hello, another dog owner here who’s dog’s (Copper) Osteosarcoma was secondary to infarcts. Yours is the first mention i’ve seen on this forum and our stories are similar. Unfortunately, our diagnosis and treatment were also both significantly delayed by the rarity of infarcts.
When Copper came up acutely left hind lame in early Nov. i took her for a work-up at a specialty clinic where they took x-rays of both hind legs that showed unusual changes in both tibias and her L distal femur. Because they were unsure of what was going on she too had a CT done that more clearly showed: punctuate lesions in the L distal femur, sclerosis in both proximal & distal tibias, and similar (but less obvious) lesions in the R distal femur. She also had an inconclusive bone biopsy (despite it going to a histopathologist who specializes in bone and doing additional stains to try and figure out exactly what was going) that came back as only as a “probable sarcoma.” When she declined to largely non-weight bearing on her left hind ~3 months later she had it amputated – her final histopathology report showed OSA and bone infractions and stated that “bone infarcts are sometimes associated with osteosarcoma.”
Her infarcts in her right hind can be traced back (with no progression) to x-rays taken for another issue in 2015, so i suspect they have likely been there since puppyhood. I too am hopeful that strange presentation bodes for a favourable prognosis – but like you, i have searched the internet and found no other studies/reports on dog’s with OSA due to infarcts.
So nice to hear from you! Yes, Copper’s story is so very similar to Talan. I’d be really interested to know how often this is overlooked in more progressive osteosarc cases, but also how many unreported cases there are. With the rarity of this is your vet/ oncologist looking to publish this as a case study? I suspect my ortho specialist would be really interested to hear of your case.
I hope Copper is doing well. Talan is one week post 1st carboplatin. He has become quite PUPD (drinking lots/ urinating lots) the last few days. So I ran some urinalysis today, will repeat again tomorrow as it was a mid-day sample so a bit chicken and the egg on whether its an excessive drinking issue or an actual kidney issue. Otherwise, he is doing fantastically. CBC due tomorrow which will give more indication on kidneys but for now I hope I’m worrying over nothing. Need to have a read through for carboplatin/ kidney/ excessive drinking insights on here.
Thanks for the welcome Jerry, What a treasure trove of information and support you have created here! It’s an excellent resource, I’m very glad to have found you all!
Aww we are so honored to be part of your and Talan’s journey. Since you are a vet nurse we are especially happy to have you join us. Please don’t hesitate to share your insight for other members situations if you feel up to it. Glad to hear that Talan is doing so well!
I’m not sure about the excessive drinking and the only relative search results I found are here, but they may be of interest to you. I’m hoping someone else may have additional feedback here.
Yeah, prior to Copper’s amputation the surgeon at the specialty clinic we got to consulted with multiple radiologist, several oncologist, and even the radiation oncologist on staff – none of them were sure of what was going on and said they had not seen a case quite like Cop’s before. I personally suspect there are likely many more dogs with medullary infarcts then anyone knows – they just never need x-rays/a CT and don’t get OSA so it’s never discovered.
And no, neither her oncologist or surgeon have mentioned a case study – though Copper’s surgeon did send the samples of her tibia off “for the hospital” and i’m sure has shared the information with the rest of the clinic.
I hope Talan’s pu/pd has resolved, that his blood work was all good, and that he is still doing otherwise fantastic!